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Little known places to see in Egypt   Africa

Started May-10 by Feisty Old Broad Shorty (TOILETHEA1); 99 views.

White Desert

Al Farafrah, Egypt

An alien landscape of chalk-rock in the Egyptian desert. 

JUST A FEW HOURS FROM the bursting metropolis of Cairo lies a desert that will make you feel like you’ve landed on the surface of the moon.

Formed by centuries of erosion and sandstorms, these unique calcium rock formations crop up across the landscape like great abstract statues. Some that resemble food have been given names like “mushroom” and “ice-cream cone,” while others have inspired more grandiose designations, such as “the Monolith” and “Inselberg.”

Arguably the most characteristic of these peculiar natural formations is the famed “chicken and tree” set, also called “chicken and mushroom,” or, better yet, “chicken and atomic bomb.” Only in The White Desert will you encounter such a bizarre and awe-inspiring natural museum of chalk-rock.

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Hathor Temple

One of the most well-preserved temples of ancient Egypt. 

IF YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT THE Dendera Light Bulb and want to see the famed relief up close and personal, you will have to visit the underground crypt of Hathor Temple at the Dendera Temple Complex in Qena, Egypt. If you’re looking for a jaw-dropping experience, the beautifully intricate, 2,000-year-old temple is not to be missed.

The Temple of Hathor is one of the most well-preserved temples in all of Egypt. There are three temples to view in the complex: the birthing temple at the front, the temple of Isis behind the main temple, and the main temple dedicated to Hathor. There is also a sacred pool that you can still explore. It’s empty though; sorry, no swimming.

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The Temple of Abu Simbel

Nubia, Egypt

Ozymandias’ time-keeping temple. 

THE GREAT TEMPLE OF ABU Simbel was completed in 1244 BCE. It is one of the crowning monuments of Rameses the Great, the pharaoh who would become the model for Percy Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias”: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

At Abu Simbel, four colossal statues of Rameses, each 20 meters high, look down upon the desert. But the temple’s greatest secret lies at its heart.

It was built along the axis of the sun, so that twice a year, light would flood into its innermost sanctum. The temple was moved wholesale in the 1960s to accommodate the Aswan High Dam, but its uncanny architecture still functions today. On February 22 and October 22 each year, you may still see the sunlight reach the innermost room of Rameses’ time-keeping temple, as it did over three thousand years ago. There, the sun illuminates three of the four statues waiting there: Ra, Amun, and Rameses himself. Only the fourth statue, of Ptah, the mysterious creator-god, is left in shadow.

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